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[uh-luhm-nuh] /əˈlʌm nə/
noun, plural alumnae
[uh-luhm-nee, -nahy] /əˈlʌm ni, -naɪ/ (Show IPA)
a woman who is a graduate or former student of a specific school, college, or university.
Origin of alumna
1880-85, Americanism; < Latin: foster daughter, pupil; feminine of alumnus
Can be confused
alum, alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus (see usage note at alumnus)
Usage note
See alumnus. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for alumna
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A debate was sometimes introduced, a Shakespeare reading, or an address by an alumna student.

    Earliest Years at Vassar Frances A. Wood
  • It was founded by an alumna for marked proficiency in English with general excellency in other lines.

    Daddy Long-Legs Jean Webster
  • To the alumna and the student, the picture called up by those words is sufficiently definite and demands no amplification.

    Teddy: Her Book Anna Chapin Ray
British Dictionary definitions for alumna


noun (pl) -nae (-niː)
(mainly US & Canadian) a female graduate of a school, college, etc
Word Origin
C19: feminine of alumnus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alumna

see alumnus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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